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Connecting an Unbalanced Source to a Balanced Preamplifier - Cable Question


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I've done a little reading on the subject but my brain has somewhat overloaded and malfunctioned so I'm hoping someone here can give provide me with a simple answer.

I have a phono stage with an unbalanced output that I want to connect to a balanced input on a preamp that I recently purchased (it's an all balanced pre).

Should I use an RCA cable with an XLR Male to RCA Female adapter plugged in at the preamp end (like the ones EGM sell https://www.egmaudio.com.au/product-category/hi-fi-audio-connectors/xlr-rca-terminals-adapters/ )

or, an XLR cable with an XLR male to RCA Male adapter plugged in at the phono stage end?

Is one way better than the other or should I get a different cable all together, one that is maybe "built for purpose"?

Edited by craig10
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If it's a fully balanced XLR connection and not floating at the preamp end and the possible upgrade path may consider a fully balanced phono stage in the future then an XLR IC is recommended with the RCA adapter at the phono stage.

 

If the balanced connection at the preamp end is floating then an RCA IC with XLR adapter would probably be best.

 

Can you share the brand/model of preamp and phono stage?

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6 minutes ago, xlr8or said:

If it's a fully balanced XLR connection and not floating at the preamp end and the possible upgrade path may consider a fully balanced phono stage in the future then an XLR IC is recommended with the RCA adapter at the phono stage.

 

If the balanced connection at the preamp end is floating then an RCA IC with XLR adapter would probably be best.

 

Can you share the brand/model of preamp and phono stage?

Thanks Kirk. The phono stage is a PureAudo LV-1 and the preamp a Burson Conductor 3x Reference.

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On 16/01/2021 at 8:52 PM, craig10 said:

Should I use an RCA cable with an XLR Male to RCA Female adapter plugged in at the preamp end (like the ones EGM sell


Perhaps you would like to check out this thread?

 

 

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2 hours ago, MoveD said:


Perhaps you would like to check out this thread?

 

 

Thanks. Don't know how I missed it. Interesting.

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2 hours ago, Bill125812 said:

Why not just use an xlr to rca cable 

Definitely considering it. 

The only thing is that I'm rather fond of the cables that I have. 

Question is would the EGM adapter I'm considering detract at all from the sound.

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9 minutes ago, craig10 said:

Definitely considering it. 

The only thing is that I'm rather fond of the cables that I have. 

Question is would the EGM adapter I'm considering detract at all from the sound.

No idea.  Never used one.  Always just used a xlr to rca cable.  So I can’t really comment on the product 

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28 minutes ago, craig10 said:

Definitely considering it. 

The only thing is that I'm rather fond of the cables that I have. 

Question is would the EGM adapter I'm considering detract at all from the sound.

 

If you want to use the rca cable you already own  - I recommend Neutrik xlr to rca adapters.   They are cheap, made well and sound more neutral than the lot more expensive Cardas adaptors.

 

I use the Neutrik adaptor with my balanced pre amp and Nordost Valhalla rca's into my phono stage.

 

I have not heard the EGM adaptor.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, metal beat said:

 

If you want to use the rca cable you already own  - I recommend Neutrik xlr to rca adapters.   They are cheap, made well and sound more neutral than the lot more expensive Cardas adaptors.

 

I use the Neutrik adaptor with my balanced pre amp and Nordost Valhalla rca's into my phono stage.

 

I have not heard the EGM adaptor.

 

 

Totally agree with @metal beat  cliff electronics can help you with the Neutrik adapter 

 

https://cliff.com.au

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56 minutes ago, Bill125812 said:

Totally agree with @metal beat  cliff electronics can help you with the Neutrik adapter 

 

https://cliff.com.au

 

Hi Bill

 

out of left field, do you think you can build a 6m balanced IC that would be more neutral / transparent to my Nordost Tyr cable?   that is cable that adds nothing except purity and dynamics without the stupid Nordost/Audioquest/Jorma etc price tags.    the impossible cable? :)      

  might be logistically easier to have a cable to compare to one of my 1m Valhalla cables?

 

cheers

Edited by metal beat
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@metal beat

 

My boutique hybrids would fit the bill I think   Very neutral and balanced yet very detailed   I would certainly put them up against your cables 😁

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18 hours ago, Bill125812 said:

@metal beat

 

My boutique hybrids would fit the bill I think   Very neutral and balanced yet very detailed   I would certainly put them up against your cables 😁

@metal beat I’ll be interested to hear the result of the shoot out as I am contemplating for some ZenSati XLR but just can’t bring myself to pull the trigger! If Bill’s cable is the winner or as good, that would certainly save me some silly money too! 😁

Edited by MoveD
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There are apparently some benefits to running a short RCA cable to an isolation transformer which converts the signal to a balanced signal and also boosts the signal from the consumer 0.75 to 1.4mv. I would try except I'm running single ended gear these days so no real benefit, though it would still be better for longer cable runs.

 

I've had an eye on these for some time: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33047115798.html?spm=a2g0s.8937460.0.0.64af2e0esQZPGT

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